Afternoon News Brief - Three murders this weekendWisconsin News
-- Milwaukee Police say they’re investigating three separate murders during the weekend.
Milwaukee Police say they’re investigating three separate murders during the weekend. The latest killing was around 12:50 this morning, when a man was shot in a north side neighborhood. A 24 year old man was shot to death about 1:35 am yesterday while walking home with friends. And police are still investigating the death of 22 year old Donovan Bond, who was shot to death while driving his car onto a Milwaukee freeway yesterday afternoon. Media reports said an altercation at a corner resulted in the shooting, which happened while Bond was driving onto Interstate 43. The car struck a median when it got onto the freeway. A passenger was wounded by the gunfire. The Journal Sentinel says 19 people have been murdered in Milwaukee so far in 2012. That’s up from 12 at this time last year.
If you think political ads are sleazy now, a Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling today will not make them any cleaner for you. The justices voted unanimously to throw out rules that required independent groups to say exactly who pays for their ads, which praise or condemn candidates’ actions. The case went directly to the Supreme Court in 2010 with the blessing of conservative justices David Prosser, Michael Gableman, Pat Roggensack, and Annette Ziegler. Prosser has since withdrew from the case, and was not involved in today’s opinion. The other three justices said they now believe the Supreme Court was wrong in taking direct jurisdiction but they didn’t say why. And Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson wrote that quote, “we are left to wonder why” the three justices now failed to address the merits of the case. Justices Abrahamson, Ann Walsh Bradley, and Patrick Crooks said the Government Accountability Board had the authority to approve the ad disclosure rules – and they’re not invalid on their face. Still, those justices voted to drop them. The decision was a victory for independent groups that went to court to throw out the rules. They include the Americans for Prosperity, the Wisconsin Prosperity Network, the conservative MacIver Institute, and groups from Sheboygan, Iowa County, and far northern Wisconsin.
Governor Scott Walker signed a bill today which ends the enrollment limit for Wisconsin’s Family Care program. The federal government ordered the state last December to end the limit of 43,000 in the state’s long running program that’s designed to keep the elderly and disabled out of nursing homes. But the new law could limit the number of counties where Family Care is offered to the current 57. Legislators voted last week to require the blessing of the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee before any new counties can join the program. Walker signed the Family Care bill and a few others in Milwaukee including one that tightens the rules for restraining or secluding unruly students in public school classes. Only trained teachers can restrain youngsters or send them to “time out” rooms. And the new law says students must present a clear and immediate danger to themselves or others in order to be restrained.
110 individuals and groups have paid fines over the last three years for breaking the state’s campaign finance and ethics laws. That’s according to the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, which obtained the list from the state Government Accountability Board. The fines totaled almost $275,000 dollars. Wisconsin and Southern Railroad president William Gardner had the biggest fine by far, almost $167,000 dollars, for laundering campaign contributions to Republicans through a relative, associates, and railroad employees. Twenty eight people were fined over the last three years for exceeding the $10,000 dollar limit for personal contributions to any Wisconsin candidate. Among those fined was former legislator and long time lobbyist Gary Goyke. He was fined over $64,000 dollars for exceeding the annual contribution limit in 2009. Goyke told the Investigative Journalism group he didn’t realize the limit applied to local and judicial campaigns as well as for state offices. The $10,000 dollar limit does make the news from time to time, but Robert Fettig, CEO of a metal fabricator in Darien, said he never heard of the individual limit in more than three decades of making contributions. He told journalism council the limit is quote, “stupid,” and it’s one nobody knows about. But Mike Buelow of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign said the $10,000 dollar limit prevents individuals from having too much influence. He said not even one percent of Wisconsinites give to campaigns, and small givers normally average around $20 dollars.
Paperwork was filed today to try and recall two Wisconsin senators because they voted against the final version of a mining regulation bill. The conservative Citizens for Responsible Government announced the efforts during the weekend against Senate Democrat Bob Jauch of Poplar and Republican Dale Schultz of Richland Center. Shirl LaBarre of Hayward filed papers this morning with the state Government Accountability Board to start collecting recall signatures against Jauch. Dan Curran of Dodgeville filed papers authorizing an exploratory committee for a possible recall campaign against Schultz. Both senators voted against faster approvals of state iron ore mining permits, to allow Gogebic Taconite to build a mine near Hurley. The project was scrapped after the latest bill was voted down almost two weeks ago. The CRG and legislative Republicans said the bill’s opponents turned away thousands of jobs. Both Jauch and Schultz have said they were not opposed to mining – but they said the bill would have taken away environmental protections and the public’s right to challenge DNR mining decisions.
A four year girl in Milwaukee has been killed after a TV fell on her. The medical examiner’s office said it happened late yesterday morning on the city’s south side. The youngster was taken to Children’s Hospital, where she died. Autopsy results were pending. Other information was not immediately available.